The South African Communist Party's decision to compete in an election against its alliance partner the ANC is a watershed moment for them, with important implications for the country.
After tiptoeing around the idea of contesting state power South Africa’s Communist Party is looking to strengthen its position now that the ANC is no longer the dominant force it used to be.
South Africa's newest trade union federation, Saftu, comes at a time of declining political influence by unions, compared to during the struggle against apartheid. They are also seen as elitist.
There are early signs of the emergence of a third force for good in South Africa in the likes of the Save SA movement and Socio-Economic Future of South Africa convened by the Archbishop of Cape Town.
The SACP is the oldest communist party in Africa, formed in 1921. It is one of only 20 parties which survived the anti-communist purge post independence. Its membership went through cycles over years.